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The London Magazine has a publication history spanning almost two hundred years, and has featured work by some of the most prominent names in literature, from John Keats to Hilary Mantel. In this curated selection, we share our favourite pieces from the TLM archive.

Thomas Hardy’s ‘A Mere Interlude’

With The London Magazine Short Story Competition now open for submissions, we delved into our archives for inspiration and found this short by Thomas Hardy from May...

Leaving School—II by Nadine Gordimer

My writing life began long before I left school, and I began to leave school (frequently) long before the recognized time came, so there...

John Scott’s The London Magazine by Matthew Scott

The Greek author Lucian tells of a lusty, young aristocrat who fell for a statue of Aphrodite and, willing it to be real, attempted...

A Discovery in the Woods by Graham Greene

I The village lay among the great red rocks about a thousand feet up and five miles from the sea, which was reached by a...

The Lake by Ted Hughes

Better disguised than the leaf-insect, A sort of subtler armadillo, The lake turns with me as I walk. Snuffles at my feet for what I might drop...

Hockney in L.A. by Robert Wennersten

To celebrate the opening of David Hockney's exhibition 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life at the Royal Academy, we've republished an interview with Hockney, which originally...

Cathedral by Raymond Carver

The first story written after his acclaimed collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, 'Cathedral' by Raymond Carver was included in...

Alas for the Egg by Hilary Mantel

First published in The London Magazine, Dec/Jan 1986/87   On Sunday, they went to Nicosia. On their right as they drove, but far in the distance,...

Till September Petronella by Jean Rhys

From The London Magazine January 1960 There was a barrel organ playing at the corner of Torrington Square. It played 'Destiny' and ‘La Paloma’ and...

The Mother of the Child in Question by Doris Lessing

When Doris Lessing was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 she was the eleventh woman and the oldest person to ever receive...

Three Poems by Selima Hill

First published in The London Magazine, October/November 1989 Deep in the Scented House Deep in the scented house, a herring merchant is parting his wife's buttocks with cold hands; while...

Home by Kate Miller

Even a London house must have its swifts, the roof should be a beacon in the western light to guide them. Now, at evening, midges rise in...

The Curtain Blown by the Breeze by Muriel Spark

From The London Magazine January 1961 It is always when a curtain at an open window flutters in the breeze that I think of that frail...

Sonnet – A Dream by John Keats

From The London Magazine April 1821 As Hermes once took to his feathers light,     When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept, So on a Delphic reed,...

The Rain Horse by Ted Hughes

 As the young man came over the hill the first thin blowing of rain met him. He turned his coat-collar up and stood on...

Next Boat from Douala by William Boyd

From The London Magazine Stories 11, 1979 Then the brothel was raided. Christ, he’d only gone down to Spinoza’s to confront Patience with her handiwork. She hadn’t...

The Wheelbarrow by V. S. Pritchett

In August 1960 The London Magazine published V. S. Pritchett’s short story ‘The Wheelbarrow’ alongside four poems by Derek Walcott and reviews by Louis...

A Message From T. S. Eliot

from The London Magazine February 1954 "What we need is the magazine which will boldly assume the existence of a public interested in serious literature, and eager...

Translated Love Letters by Andrew McMillan

From The London Magazine October/November 2009 Translated Love Letters from Norwegian oh love, doesn't the fact that the world is so big, laid out like ripe fruit make you...

Two Wives and a Widow by Angela Carter

From The London Magazine March 1966 Two Wives and a Widow A modern version from the Middle Scots of William Dunbar If one night in the year...

Full Fathom Five by Sylvia Plath

From The London Magazine June 1960 Old man, you surface seldom. Then you come in with the tide's coming When seas wash cold, foam- Capped: white hair, white...